Artist-Mentor Justin Ponmany | Study of Work

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This work of artist-mentor Justin Ponmany is titled Staple Agony II, Plastic Memory (2006), acrylic and holographic pigment on canvas, diptych 191 x 325cm. Ponmany while exploring ideas of plasticity and elasticity of the city, facelifts reality time and again. He has used plastic paints, silver holograms, bright hues of colour and distorted photographic-negatives as part of this work.

This work is supposed to find inspiration from a Radiohead song, in which the shell of a masked figure is centred in a space that is coloured in rich tints of orange.

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Justin Ponmany | Artist-Mentor

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Artist-mentor Justin Ponmany was born in Kerala in 1974. He completed his B.A in Fine Arts from Sir J.J School of Art, Mumbai. Justin Ponmany’s work is intrinsically located in the city of Mumbai, he sees it as a work in progress- in continuous flux and always under construction.

The duality of globalization and the inexorable integration of nation-states and technologies find expression in what the artist terms as ‘plastic memory’. The metaphor of ‘plastic’ encapsulates shiny bright surfaces that define global growth, of people living amongst non bio-degradable waste, and states of the mind that are fake. He also talks about loss and temporality, and explores ideas of plasticity and elasticity of the city. His engagement with scrutiny, privacy and surveillance extends to both his paintings and the virtual world of the Internet.

As a child, the chaotic landscape of suburban Mumbai, where he grew up finds resonance in his works.

Artist-Mentor Prajakta Potnis | Study of Work

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This particular work of artist-mentor Prajakta Potnis sees the use of a refrigerator and a cauliflower as part of her work. Her work weaves in a story of its own inhabiting the space of this regulated set-up. Using the analogy of genetically modified vegetables, Potnis has tried to fabricate an aura of a sudden outpour through the imagery of the cauliflower.

In her own words, Potnis states that the insides of a refrigerator has ‘intrigued’ her much like a very controlled habitat creating a setting of a stage.

The ideas of decay, degeneration, apathy and neglect weave through the metaphors of decaying vegetables, or decorating mundane materials in her work. While symbolizing beauty on the surface, they also evoke a sense of repulsion through their mottled and rotten imagery.

Prajakta Potnis | Artist-Mentor

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Artist-mentor Prajakta Potnis was born in Thane, Maharashtra. She pursued her B.A and M.A degrees in Fine Art from the Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai. Through photographs, paintings, sculptures and installations, artist-mentor Prajakta Potnis endeavours to build a relationship between the public and the private space, to see how the outside is affected by the inside, and how various elements transgress finally affect an individual.

Her works bring about shifts the viewer’s ways of seeing, thereby critiques our urban existence in a powerful way. She attempts to address social and individual anxieties through the degeneration of everyday life where the space of the personal becomes a ground to play out these anxieties.

As a child, it was her drawing teacher and the space of the art room that inspired her to move towards art. The ability to say something without writing and the space to discover something new every time was what drew her to the subject and the practice.

Master Class: Exploring the Stencil technique of our Master Artists!

The technique that was initiated before our young artists in the last session was stenciling. Kids were enthralled talking about the visuals of graffiti on streets they frequented which caught their attention. One of the kids, Kshitij stated, ‘I have seen lot of designs and text on the walls near Mahim and Dadar station stretch.’

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While taking them through all about stencils, our mentor introduced the different types of material that can be used to makes stencils. The key advantage of a stencil is that it can be reused to repeatedly and rapidly producing the same letters or design. The process of stenciling involves applying paint across a stencil to form an image on a surface below. Sometimes multiple layers of stencils are used on the same image to add colours or create the illusion of depth.

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After understanding the technique, the children saw street artist Daku’s artworks that depict socio-political visuals with text. The children made keen observations about the symbols with text that were used to create his stencil and transformed them onto streets.

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They were confused as to how street artists manage stenciling on the streets without requisite permission! They were bewildered to know that they do it despite any authorized consent and have to be wary of policemen on the streets. This caught their attention for a long time. This was followed by making stencils and eventually seeing students crack the technique!

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Artist-Mentor Saba Hasan | Study of Work

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The sculpted piece of work titled Burnt Book is artist-mentor Saba Hasan’s way of merging and addressing countless memories in tandem with the space she inhabits, keeping in mind the larger order of political and cultural connotations it entails.

While sculpting books, artist-mentor Saba chooses not to shed light on the book she has chosen to recreate in any which particular way. She leaves that visual exercise of engaging with her sculpture onto the spectator. Her leanings towards the mundane and organic as material for her practice gives her work the added meaning, which in turn widens the ambit of involvement with the audience.